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Is Wisconsin the Best State for Trophy Deer Hunting?

February 15, 2012
Is Wisconsin the Best State for Trophy Deer Hunting? - 11

Sorry Iowa, Texas and Kansas, Wisconsin is now the best state for trophy deer hunting, at least according to the Boone & Crockett club. The club recently issued a press release stating that the number of trophy deer taken in the Badger State has risen by 857 percent over the last 30 years. And during the last five years (excluding 2011) Wisconsin hunters entered 383 bucks into the book. That's higher than any other state.

The B&C Club also reported that the number of trophy deer taken has risen nationally by 400 percent over the last three decades. There are several reasons for this including: better management practices on private and public land; a shift in hunter attitude away from meat hunting; a better understanding of deer genetics and nutrition; and hunters being more willing to submit their trophy bucks to B&C.

Of course, there's not a booner buck taking an afternoon nap in every alfalfa field in Wisconsin (trust me, I'm a cheesehead). Hunting is still tough on public land and in some regions of the state hunters struggle to see any deer, let alone a record book qualifier. Also, many Wisconsin hunters argue that the large wolf and bear populations are making too big of a dent in deer herds in the North.

However it's hard to argue with the numbers. And big bucks aren't just coming out of the legendary Buffalo County in Western Wisconsin. The new state record archery buck (pictured) was killed in 2010 outside of Appleton, in the eastern part of the state. In 2011 Jeff Webber took an enormous 15-point buck outside of Appleton that threatened the state record but didn't pass it.     

What's your opinion? Is Wisconsin the best state for trophy whitetail hunting?

Comments (11)

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from MOOSE wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

In response to avoidthewife21, news flash MORON it's no secret! I've been hunting and reading about hunting for longer than you've been alive. I live and breathe it. If someone from out of state wants to come hunt my state, I say welcome and appreciate there wanting to come visit. I don't display a bad attitude about it or bash folks for throwing some glory my way. You were so red that you even posted the same stupid comment twice.

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from avoidthewife21 wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

Thank you alex for letting out the secret any one who is a real cheesy head would now to keep there mouth shut about the deer we kill and thanks to you i have to fight off pouchers and out of state pills of sh!t just to keep the hunting land that my family and i hunt and own and as far as the meat goes deer meat is almost all we eat and sence it out i hold a set of sheds that score over 200 and only a few have ever ever seen my family alone hold 10 of the states b&c records with scores from 143 to almost 180 and only one is in the books have a nice day

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from gmbhunter wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

I live in Florida but trek north to Wisconsin every fall in search of that "bruiser". I hunt the northwest corner of the state and have seen a dramatic drop off in the past 10 years of deer seen in the woods. If you do shoot a deer you MUST find it that day/evening or the wolves will virtually eat the entire animal by morning. Wolves, coyotes,and bear (fawn predation) have just beat down the deer herd. Saw more deer in 4 days of bow hunting in Trempealeau county than I did in 20+ days up north. Lots of time in the stands----still a great way to spend a day.

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from MOOSE wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

It's a constant tug of war match. These articles always surface and are celebrated then another state moves up. Iowa, Ohio, Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois have been at the top of the list for quite some time as big buck factories. I think they will continue to jokey around over the next decade as they always have. Nice buck and congrats to Wisconsin. I live in Michigan so I may come out that way for a hunt not far from home. Take care folks

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from trapper vic wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

Not as many booners but Ohio certainly has its fair share of record holders!

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from njschneider wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

I would agree that Wisconsin might have the best hunting statewide but nothing can compare to Southern Iowa. 70% maybe even more of the trophies from Iowa come from Southern Iowa. Within that small area it has to be the best whitetail hunting in the nation. If you would compare the amount of timber land in Iowa to Wisconsin I would bet my bottom dollar that Wisconsin has more but southern Iowa's quality is like no other place in the nation for whitetails. And I would have to give credit to the IA DNR, the gun seasons do not take place until December when the rut is over. I think this is reason why so many TV shows are in Iowa is because of the quality and being able to bow hunt from October through November without any worries of gun seasons. It would be interesting to see some research done not only comparing the top records between Iowa and Wisconsin but the density maps of where these trophies are being taken. You haven't lived until you have hung a bow stand in Iowa.

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from Kevin Naze wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

Just an FYI, the buck pictured was not taken near Appleton but rather near Wild Rose, in central Wisconsin.
Trophy bucks can come from well-managed farms, urban sanctuaries, the vast Northwoods and almost anywhere in between.
Of the top 40 typical and non-typical bucks measured by Wisconsin Buck & Bear Club scorers from the 2010 bow and gun seasons, only Dunn (3), Jackson (3), Buffalo (2), Crawford (2) and Trempealeau (2) had more than one of the top-end monsters.
The biggest gun-shot typical of 2010 came from a county not known for producing many B&C entries; the 11-point Kewaunee County giant taken from a ground blind mid-season of the November gun hunt about 30 miles east of Lambeau Field taped out at an impressive 181 1/8 inches. Not so surprisingly, the area had earn-a-buck regulations in place three straight seasons from 2006-’08.
Kyle Slama’s 229 2/8 Marquette non-typical, the biggest by a gun hunter in 2010, was also taken in an area under EAB rules in ’08. Many other bucks among the top tier also came from EAB areas, including Brian Korfmacher’s 211 2/8 Dane County giant, the largest non-typical taken by an archer last season.
Since 2000, Wisconsin has put close to 500 typical whitetails into B&C, more than any other state. For non-typicals, Wisconsin trailed only Illinois and Iowa during that span.
As of 2010, 69 of Wisconsin's 72 counties had produced B&C typicals since 2000. Another 55 counties had produced B&C non-typicals. Buffalo County is No. 1 nationally in B&C typicals since 2000, and Trempealeau is No. 3. Sauk, Pierce, Shawano and Waupaca hold the sixth through ninth spots.
A Green County pickup in 2007 (189 2/8) is the largest in the past decade. Brian Inda’s 2010 state record bow kill (Waushara County) at 187 5/8 was 12th all-time in the state heading into last fall's hunts.
Four non-typicals bucks since 2000 were among the state's top 10 heading into the 2011 season, including a 243 6/8 brute shot in Fond du Lac County in 2009 and a 241 7/8 taken in Waupaca County in 2008 in the No. 3 and No. 4 spots.

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from Blue Ox wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

Plenty of trophy deer in Illinois- splattered all over our roads because there's hardly anywhere they can be legally hunted.

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from gmashack wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

Lived and hunted here my whole life. I've hunted different parts of the country and there's no place I'd rather hunt whitetails!

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from charlie elk wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Hope you get a book deer one of these seasons Hunter_Fass there are a lot of them in WI for sure. Many adorn my walls.
During the earn a buck years the number of trophy class animals increased dramatically each year. It will be interesting to see what happens now that earn a buck is no longer around.
If this last season was any indication many hunters have gone back to shooting the first buck they see.
later,
charlie

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from Hunter_Fass wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Everybody has their state that they hunt in and think it’s better than the next. I’ve hunted in Wisconsin ever since I was old enough to hunt. I wouldn’t trade hunting here for any other state. Although I have had a chance to hunt elk in Colorado and would have to say it’s a solid runner up. I’ve never shot any book deer but have shot a few nice deer here. I believe another part of why Wisconsin produces so many record book deer is the fact that these deer are so hard to kill. Granted any mature deer is hard to kill but why don’t you see more shows on the outdoor networks hunting deer in Wisconsin? The top four states that you see on the outdoor hunting shows (for deer hunting) are; Iowa, Illinois, Texas, and Montana. Yes, there are others but I see these the most often. I do hunt in the northern part of the state and I would have to agree that predator populations do have an effect on the deer population. Between wolves, coyote, bobcat and especially bear the fawn recruitment rate is lower than in other portions of the state. Not to mention the presence of cougars too. All in all the numbers don’t lie and as of right now there are more big deer coming out of Wisconsin than any other state. Now all I need is for one to walk past my stand.

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from njschneider wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

I would agree that Wisconsin might have the best hunting statewide but nothing can compare to Southern Iowa. 70% maybe even more of the trophies from Iowa come from Southern Iowa. Within that small area it has to be the best whitetail hunting in the nation. If you would compare the amount of timber land in Iowa to Wisconsin I would bet my bottom dollar that Wisconsin has more but southern Iowa's quality is like no other place in the nation for whitetails. And I would have to give credit to the IA DNR, the gun seasons do not take place until December when the rut is over. I think this is reason why so many TV shows are in Iowa is because of the quality and being able to bow hunt from October through November without any worries of gun seasons. It would be interesting to see some research done not only comparing the top records between Iowa and Wisconsin but the density maps of where these trophies are being taken. You haven't lived until you have hung a bow stand in Iowa.

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from gmashack wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

Lived and hunted here my whole life. I've hunted different parts of the country and there's no place I'd rather hunt whitetails!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from trapper vic wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

Not as many booners but Ohio certainly has its fair share of record holders!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from gmbhunter wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

I live in Florida but trek north to Wisconsin every fall in search of that "bruiser". I hunt the northwest corner of the state and have seen a dramatic drop off in the past 10 years of deer seen in the woods. If you do shoot a deer you MUST find it that day/evening or the wolves will virtually eat the entire animal by morning. Wolves, coyotes,and bear (fawn predation) have just beat down the deer herd. Saw more deer in 4 days of bow hunting in Trempealeau county than I did in 20+ days up north. Lots of time in the stands----still a great way to spend a day.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Hope you get a book deer one of these seasons Hunter_Fass there are a lot of them in WI for sure. Many adorn my walls.
During the earn a buck years the number of trophy class animals increased dramatically each year. It will be interesting to see what happens now that earn a buck is no longer around.
If this last season was any indication many hunters have gone back to shooting the first buck they see.
later,
charlie

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kevin Naze wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

Just an FYI, the buck pictured was not taken near Appleton but rather near Wild Rose, in central Wisconsin.
Trophy bucks can come from well-managed farms, urban sanctuaries, the vast Northwoods and almost anywhere in between.
Of the top 40 typical and non-typical bucks measured by Wisconsin Buck & Bear Club scorers from the 2010 bow and gun seasons, only Dunn (3), Jackson (3), Buffalo (2), Crawford (2) and Trempealeau (2) had more than one of the top-end monsters.
The biggest gun-shot typical of 2010 came from a county not known for producing many B&C entries; the 11-point Kewaunee County giant taken from a ground blind mid-season of the November gun hunt about 30 miles east of Lambeau Field taped out at an impressive 181 1/8 inches. Not so surprisingly, the area had earn-a-buck regulations in place three straight seasons from 2006-’08.
Kyle Slama’s 229 2/8 Marquette non-typical, the biggest by a gun hunter in 2010, was also taken in an area under EAB rules in ’08. Many other bucks among the top tier also came from EAB areas, including Brian Korfmacher’s 211 2/8 Dane County giant, the largest non-typical taken by an archer last season.
Since 2000, Wisconsin has put close to 500 typical whitetails into B&C, more than any other state. For non-typicals, Wisconsin trailed only Illinois and Iowa during that span.
As of 2010, 69 of Wisconsin's 72 counties had produced B&C typicals since 2000. Another 55 counties had produced B&C non-typicals. Buffalo County is No. 1 nationally in B&C typicals since 2000, and Trempealeau is No. 3. Sauk, Pierce, Shawano and Waupaca hold the sixth through ninth spots.
A Green County pickup in 2007 (189 2/8) is the largest in the past decade. Brian Inda’s 2010 state record bow kill (Waushara County) at 187 5/8 was 12th all-time in the state heading into last fall's hunts.
Four non-typicals bucks since 2000 were among the state's top 10 heading into the 2011 season, including a 243 6/8 brute shot in Fond du Lac County in 2009 and a 241 7/8 taken in Waupaca County in 2008 in the No. 3 and No. 4 spots.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MOOSE wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

It's a constant tug of war match. These articles always surface and are celebrated then another state moves up. Iowa, Ohio, Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois have been at the top of the list for quite some time as big buck factories. I think they will continue to jokey around over the next decade as they always have. Nice buck and congrats to Wisconsin. I live in Michigan so I may come out that way for a hunt not far from home. Take care folks

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunter_Fass wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Everybody has their state that they hunt in and think it’s better than the next. I’ve hunted in Wisconsin ever since I was old enough to hunt. I wouldn’t trade hunting here for any other state. Although I have had a chance to hunt elk in Colorado and would have to say it’s a solid runner up. I’ve never shot any book deer but have shot a few nice deer here. I believe another part of why Wisconsin produces so many record book deer is the fact that these deer are so hard to kill. Granted any mature deer is hard to kill but why don’t you see more shows on the outdoor networks hunting deer in Wisconsin? The top four states that you see on the outdoor hunting shows (for deer hunting) are; Iowa, Illinois, Texas, and Montana. Yes, there are others but I see these the most often. I do hunt in the northern part of the state and I would have to agree that predator populations do have an effect on the deer population. Between wolves, coyote, bobcat and especially bear the fawn recruitment rate is lower than in other portions of the state. Not to mention the presence of cougars too. All in all the numbers don’t lie and as of right now there are more big deer coming out of Wisconsin than any other state. Now all I need is for one to walk past my stand.

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from Blue Ox wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

Plenty of trophy deer in Illinois- splattered all over our roads because there's hardly anywhere they can be legally hunted.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MOOSE wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

In response to avoidthewife21, news flash MORON it's no secret! I've been hunting and reading about hunting for longer than you've been alive. I live and breathe it. If someone from out of state wants to come hunt my state, I say welcome and appreciate there wanting to come visit. I don't display a bad attitude about it or bash folks for throwing some glory my way. You were so red that you even posted the same stupid comment twice.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from avoidthewife21 wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

Thank you alex for letting out the secret any one who is a real cheesy head would now to keep there mouth shut about the deer we kill and thanks to you i have to fight off pouchers and out of state pills of sh!t just to keep the hunting land that my family and i hunt and own and as far as the meat goes deer meat is almost all we eat and sence it out i hold a set of sheds that score over 200 and only a few have ever ever seen my family alone hold 10 of the states b&c records with scores from 143 to almost 180 and only one is in the books have a nice day

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

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